I’ve been a member of a subbing team since 2007. That time I was already starting to learn Korean. I used to watch Korean dramas in bootleg DVDs before. But as I learn the language I get more and more frustrated to the incorrect subs. Back in 2007 there was a good drama I’m watching (H.I.T.) whose theme is too complicated to be understood in gibberish English subs. There was a subbing team, D-Fansubs, who was doing the fansub for that drama but there was no progress. I decided to join them in the hopes that I can help the subbing progress.

I learned all the basics from D-Fansubs. But unfortunately I didn’t get to work in any of their projects because they stopped doing subs right after I joined them. O.o

That same year, B.O.N. Funsubs announced that they are subbing Kim Sun Ah’s comeback drama When It’s At Night. I was sooo excited to see our Samsoon back on television drama that I volunteered to join them right away. I started as a timer and eventually became a coordinator. I also coordinated City Hall (and was very happy and proud with our output) and also started coordinating I Am Legend (because it was supposed to be Kim Sun Ah’s – decided to continue with the project despite Kim Sun Ah’s quitting – but didn’t get to see it until the end (sorry guys!). I also time some episodes of some dramas here and there with B.O.N.

I also sub some random Kim Sun Ah videos here and there – news, interviews, old dramas, etc.

And now I’ve joined WithS2 as a timer for Suna Unnie’s new drama Scent Of A Woman.

I’m so excited to join WithS2. I’ve been a patron of their subs since I started my k-drama addiction years ago. A lot of Korean dramas I’ve watched are subbed by WithS2. I’m glad they’ve picked-up Scent Of A Woman. I’m also excited to be part of their team. And I’m back to my first love – timing! And hopefully in two years time I can be a translator already. I’ve tried translating a few episodes of some dramas before. But with my level of Korean right now, it’s still very difficult and it takes me lots and lots of time – then I’d end up being wrong. ㅋㅋㅋ

Why do I sub?

Others said it’s their way of “giving back”. I guess I can say that as well. Enjoying and loving lots and lots of Korean dramas over the years with free subtitles makes me feel grateful to everyone behind the gruesome process of subbing. As a way of “giving back” to the K-drama community, I want to give some of my time to help fellow subbers complete a project.

But more than “giving back”, I think I sub because I want to bring Kim Sun Ah and her dramas closer to the audience that are non-Korean speakers. If a drama remains unsubbed, no one would bother watching it unless they understand Korean or they are so big a fan of a certain actor. But if a drama is subbed, more people would definitely watch it.

And on top of that, it helps my Korean too. I learn a lot of new vocabularies, grammar patterns and expressions here and there. I also learn about the art of translation. And subbing helped my ears got used to the language too. Subbing along with unending dramas and loops and loops of Korean songs on my music players I became at ease in listening. That even if I still can’t understand a lot of words, I can determine the word and sentence boundaries. Thus I feel comfortable during listening exams (TOPIK or classroom).

Then today I started subbing in Japanese. It’s just a very short music video I need for our Japanese class. And for the first time I realize that subbing can be frustrating too. Having zero knowledge about the language, I can’t figure out when does a word or a sentence end. I was just on the 4th line and I’m totally lost. I don’t know if I’m timing the lines correctly. O.o It would just normally take me less than 30 minutes to time a similar MV in Korean, but now I’ve spent about 15 minutes already figuring out the first 4 lines. ㅋㅋㅋ


By the way, if there’s someone interested in joining us in WithS2 in subbing Scent Of A Woman, please leave a comment or e-mail me. We are still recruiting members for the drama. Thanks! 

7 thoughts on “Subbing

  1. Why is it that when I’m into something, someone writes about it on their blog? (Or is it just confirmation bias?)

    Indeed, these past few days I’ve subbed a few Korean music videos for fun, and though it’s easier than dramas (it doesn’t require awesome listening skills as I could find the lyrics), it makes me think a lot about the language and the best translation to find (not too far from the original Korean, but not too awkward either…)

    Also, good luck with your Japanese!

  2. Hi there! I’d love to be a part of your subbing team but it’d be my first time so I’m not sure how i can contribute. Do let me know if there’s anything I could possibly help with! =D

    Weixin (:

  3. Hi, I am also in the same boat as WeiXin, I would also love to be a part of a subbing team. However, it will also be my first time. I started learning Korean last year and I am also a huge fan of Korean dramas and variety shows. Please let me know if there is anything that I can contribute for your subbing squad.


    • Hi Deb!
      WithS2, I believe, are recruiting subbers. I’m not very active there, and just showing up if 1.) I have time and 2.) there are dramas that interest me (and right now I have none of both! o.o ). You can go to this link: and leave a message. They are a very helpful and happy bunch in withs2. Right now, we don’t have an ongoing project in BON.
      There’s an upcoming drama that my a fellow subber proposed we do either in withs2 or at bon. Not sure who will take the project, but I’ll be glad to join that team, if ever. 🙂

  4. Hi!! I just read your post about the translation stuff and really got me interested of doing so and I always have been to. But I’m not fluent in korean ㅠㅠ I just have subbed few short videos before with my limited korean. I really want to started from the bottom like you did but I cant find any korean subbing teams that are open for applications. Most of them are looking for an experienced subber and I feel really hopeless. May I ask you that are you still in subbing team and need someone to help you in any way? I just really want to increase my experience in subbing. Sorry for bother you;;; have a nice day!!! ^^

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